CSET FRENCH 2 - Literature and History
Terms in this set (30)
Founder of France
King Clovis who converted from Paganism to catholism. He is credited with uniting the Franks of modern-day France. As a leader of the Merovingian Dynasty, he greatly impacted the history of the European continent.
As a ruler, Clovis established the Merovingian Dynasty. Furthermore, he established Catholicism as the major religion of Western and Central Europe, while also advancing the culture of the continent.
Although Clovis' Merovingian Dynasty only lasted for about 300 years, its impact is still felt today.
Chanson de Rouland (1100)
- oldest major work in French literature
- probable author was a Norman poet, Turold,
whose name is introduced in its last line
- historical Battle of Roncesvalles (Roncevaux) in
- Charlemagne, having conquered all of Spain except Saragossa, sends the knight Ganelon, Roland's stepfather, to negotiate peace terms. Angry because Roland proposed him for the dangerous task, Ganelon plots with the Saracens to achieve his stepson's destruction and, on his return, ensures that Roland will command the rear guard of the army when it withdraws from Spain. As the army crosses the Pyrenees, the rear guard is surrounded at the pass of Roncesvalles by an overwhelming Saracen force. Roland, rejects Oliver's advice to blow his horn and summon help from Charlemagne. On Roland's refusal, the Frankish knighthood is reduced to a handful of men. The horn is finally sounded, too late to save Oliver, Turpin, or Roland, who has been struck in error by the blinded Oliver, but in time for Charlemagne to avenge his heroic vassals. Returning to France, the emperor breaks the news to Aude, Roland's betrothed and the sister of Oliver, who falls dead at his feet. The poem ends with the trial and execution of Ganelon.
1539 - The king Francois 1st declares French as the official language of France
Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585)
chief among the French Renaissance group of poets known as La Pléiade
With a group of fellow students he formed a literary school that came to be called La Pléiade, in emulation of the seven ancient Greek poets of Alexandria: its aim was to produce French poetry that would stand comparison with the verse of classical antiquity.
- his first collection of poems, Odes
- Les Amours
- Bocage ("Grove") of poetry of 1554 and Meslanges ("Miscellany"): nature poems
- Hymne du Ciel" ("Hymn of the Sky"), celebrating natural phenomena, abstract ideas like death or justice, or gods and heroes of antiquity; these poems were published as Hymnes
1550s a group of poets whose aim was to break away from the moribund medieval poetry and develop classical poetry similar to that of the Italian Renaissance in their native French language
A group of seven French writers of the 16th century, led by Pierre de Ronsard, whose aim was to elevate the French language to the level of the classical tongues as a medium for literary expression.
The principles of La Pléiade were authoritatively set forth by du Bellay in Défense et illustration de la langue françoise (1549), a document that advocated the enrichment of the French language by discreet imitation and borrowing from the language and literary forms of the classics and the works of the Italian Renaissance. Du Bellay also encouraged the revival of archaic French words, the incorporation of words and expressions from provincial dialects, the use of technical terms in literary contexts, the coining of new words, and the development of verse forms new to French literature.
The writers of La Pléiade are considered the first representatives of French Renaissance poetry. The members of La Pléiade are sometimes charged with attempting to Latinize the French language and are criticized for inspiring the slavish imitation of the classics that occasionally occurred among their followers.
Members of Le Pleiade (7)
Pierre de Ronsard, Joachim du Bellay, Rémy Belleau, Ètienne Jodelle, Pontus de Tyard, Jean-Antoine Baïf, and the humanist scholar Jean Daurat. De Ronsard - a favourite of Charles II - was by far the pre-eminent artist of the group. Wrote sonnets in French, as opposed to the popular Latin.
Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
FRENCH ENLIGHTENMENT - A French philosopher and scientist who revolutionized algebra and geometry and made the famous philosophical statement "I think, therefore I am." Descartes developed a deductive approach to philosophy using math and logic that still remains a standard for problem solving.
French Baroque - 17th century
Charles Perrault used the basic narratives of traditional folk tales and changed them into the format still popular with children today - fairy tales
- In Perrault's versions, the stories were meant to
not only entertain, but to teach children a moral
- Known works:
'Cinderella,' 'Little Red Riding Hood,' 'Sleeping
Beauty,' 'Puss in Boots,' and 'Bluebeard.'
Molière, Pierre Corneille and Jean Racine.
- A particular style popular in the French theater
was called comedy of manners. These farcical
comedies were written to challenge the
affected mannerisms and attitudes of the ruling
- Racine's second play: Alexandre le Grande or
Alexander the Great.
- During this period, poetry and drama were
intimately connected, as most of the scripts were
actually written in verse. Racine was a poet, as
was Jean de La Fontaine, who wrote children's
stories similar to Perrault's fairy tales. Poetry
during the 17th century in France was largely in
the classical format of meter and rhyme.
- Jean de La Fontaine was one of the most widely
read French poets of the 17th century. He is
known above all for his Fables, which provided a
model for subsequent fabulists across Europe
and numerous alternative versions in France, and
in French regional languages.
- Instead of believing what governments and churches told them, they started thinking empirically, meaning that they relied on observation, experimentation, reason, etc. The result was a widespread challenge to establishment authority, which led to revolutions in government, religion, education, and other facets of society.
- a philosophy that promoted individual thinking and rational logic as more valuable than tradition. Enlightenment thinkers rejected the traditional assumptions and committed themselves to things that they could demonstrate through unbiased, scientific experiments.
similar to ideas of ancient Greece and Rome
began to use iron in architecture
Neoclassicism: a revival Classical of art and architecture
DURING THE REIGN OF LOUIS XIV, FRENCH INTELLECTUAL ELITE BEGAN GATHERING CASUALLY IN SALONS TO GRUMBLE OVER THE EXTRAVAGANCES OF THE MONARCH. INFLUENCED BY THE WRITINGS OF JOHN LOCKE THEY BECAME MORE ACTIVE READING THE WORKS OF ALL THE LEADING PHILOSOPHERS INCLUDING NEWTON, LOCKE BEGAN TO DENOUNCE THE CONTROL THE CHURCH HAD OVER IMPRESSIONABLE PARISHIONERS.
Charles-Louis de Secondat, the Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu (1689-1755)
- his first work, Persian Letters, caused a small uproar in Paris. The book satirized Parisian culture and French attitudes during the reign of King Louis XIV by following two Persian travelers as they visited the city. The work contained particularly biting criticism of Christianity and Catholicism in particular. Though Montesquieu originally published the work anonymously, his identity as the author was soon discovered and he quickly became famous throughout the city.
- most important and influential work was published in 1748, The Spirit of Laws.
- separation of power between these branches. The system only worked, according to Montesquieu, if each branch had defined duties and the opportunity to check the power of the other two branches.
- Montesquieu's political views have played a huge role in shaping the structure of several modern western governments - indeed, the structure of the U.S. government is largely based on his writing
- he considered women inferior to men. Furthermore, he did not consider all men equal, and he believed slavery to generally be a good thing. His democracy, it seems, was not for all and only meant for those he considered his equals
FRENCH ENLIGHTENMENT - The foremost French political thinker of the Enlightenment, whose most influential book, The Spirit of Laws, expanded John Locke's political study and incorporated the ideas of a division of state and separation of powers. Montesquieu believed that a central government could have too much power. Montesquieu's work also ventured into sociology: he spent a considerable amount of time researching various cultures and their climates, ultimately deducing that climate is a major factor in determining the type of government a given country should have.
Voltaire - born François-Marie Arouet (1694-1778)
A French writer and the primary satirist (to criticize human cruelty and society through irony and humor) of the Enlightenment, who criticized religion and leading philosophies of the time. Voltaire's numerous plays and essays frequently advocated freedom from the ploys of religion, while Candide (1759), the most notable of his works, conveyed his criticisms of optimism and superstition into a neat package.
- philosopher of Enlightenment
- politically charged works
- imprisoned twice, spent many years in exile
- hallmark of Voltaire's thinking was skepticism. He
distrusted anything that couldn't be supported
with firm, reasoned evidence. As a result, his
writings often attacked institutions and
assumptions that lacked logical authority. For
example: governments, organized religion
traditional economics, conventional gender roles
- Oedipus (1718): first play about a king that tries to escape his fate of killing his father and marrying his mother
- The Age of Louis the XIV: historical study
- Letters Concerning the English Language (1733):
studies English society and suggests short
comings of French society - angered the French
church and government, forcing the writer to
flee for the next 15 years
- Nanine: focus on history and the arts
- The Henriade 1723
- The Maid of Orleans
- Oedipus: adaptation of Sophocles
- Micromégas (1752)
- Plato's Dream (1756)
- Candide (1759): satirical novel mocking real
philosopher Leibniz in his
philosopher/teacher character Pangloss.
Pangloss believes bc God is good and god
created the world that all in the world is good =
"Folly of Optimism". Despite encountering
countless traumas alongside Candide - including
war, earthquake (based on Lisbon's real
earthquake) Syphilis, rape and personal treason,
Pangloss continues to believe all is good. Both
characters end up in garden where Candide
doesn't worry as much b/c he is busy planting.
- Dictionnaire philosophique: an encyclopedic
dictionary that embraced the concepts of
Enlightenment and rejected the ideas of the
Roman Catholic Church
- historical and philosophical works
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
Best know for contributions to political and moral philosophy. Mainly interested in human freedom, political authority and human nature.
His ideas are thought to be instrumental in bringing about of the French Revolution.
FRENCH ENLIGHTENMENT - An eclectic Swiss-French thinker who brought his own approach to the Enlightenment, believing that man was at his best when unshackled by the conventions of society. Rousseau's epic THE SOCIAL CONTRACT (1762) conceived of a system of direct democracy in which all citizens contribute to an overarching "general will" that serves everyone at once.
Believed citizens entered into a social contract, giving up freedoms in order for the government to protect them. The government's authority lies in the consent of the governed.
He believed that humans are naturally good, but can be corrupted by society.
Strong focus on peasant life
His views helped shape 19th century romanticism.
- The Social Contract: Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. Explored relationship between individual and political authority.
- Discourse on Inequality (1775): set forth his basic ideas regarding human nature in relation to political structures. Inequality stems from restrictive attempts to civilize man.
- Emile or On Education: He advances ideas of an informal education approach. A young boy, Emile, learns the value of reason and virtue on his own, out in the countryside away from corruption of the city. These ideas helped to give rise to the Modern child centered theory of education.
Denis Diderot (1713-1784)
FRENCH ENLIGHTENMENT - A French scholar who was the primary editor of the Encyclopédie, a massive thirty-five-volume compilation of human knowledge in the arts and sciences, along with commentary from a number of Enlightenment thinkers. The Encyclopédie became a prominent symbol of the Enlightenment and helped spread the movement throughout Europe.
In the 1740s, Diderot began producing his own philosophical tracts, often publishing anonymously. His first, for instance, Pensées Philosophiques, was published without an author in 1746. In it, Diderot critiqued Christianity and competing ideologies of the Enlightenment, like deism. The work was considered too controversial and was subsequently burned by the French government. Diderot also dabbled in other forms of writing, once writing a novel for his lover to back up his boast to her that writing a novel was easy.
Diderot and d'Alembert became resolved to compile their own work detailing the arts, sciences, and early industry. The enormous project eventually attempted to document all human knowledge in general.
Indeed, Diderot intended the project, which he titled the Encyclopedia or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts, as a compilation of knowledge for its own sake, stating it was meant 'to further knowledge, and, by so doing, strike a resounding blow against reactionary forces in church and state.'
28 volumes of the Encyclopedia were published, all compiled, written, and worked on by Diderot.
Olympe de Gouges (1748-1793)
The 18th century social reformer and writer was one of France's first major advocates for the rights of women and other underrepresented groups. In her publications, de Gouges advocated for the rights of orphaned children, divorced and widowed mothers, and black slaves, and she advocated for making both divorce and maternity hospitals more accessible to women.
While Olympe de Gouges supported a government that represented the will of the people and their rights, she also supported the monarchy and opposed the violent faction of revolutionaries that had taken control of Paris. As a result, she was arrested by this faction, and in 1793 was publicly executed by guillotine on a large scaffolding in the center of Paris.
Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Female Citizen: De Gouges wrote this in 1791, in the middle of the violent French Revolution, right after the revolutionaries had published their demands for fair rights to all male citizens called the 'Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen'. De Gouges argued that the full rights of citizenship should be granted to French women as well, and added that illegitimate children should be legally recognized in terms of inheritance and rights.
FRENCH REVOLUTION AND THE ENLIGHTENMENT (1789)
A revolution in France that overthrew the monarchy and is often cited as the end of the Enlightenment. The French Revolution began in 1789 when King Louis XVI convened the legislature in an attempt to solve France's monumental financial woes. Instead, the massive middle class revolted and set up its own government. Although this new government was effective for a few years, internal dissent grew and power switched hands repeatedly, until France plunged into the brutally violent Reign of Terror of 1793-1794.Critics saw this violence as a direct result of Enlightenment thought and as evidence that the masses were not fit to govern themselves.
Celebrated for his insightful depiction of the Parisian aristocratic society, Balzac himself was an outsider in it, partly due to his innate social awkwardness, but primarily due to his humble origins. Balzac's father came from a peasant family of Balssa.
'La Comedie Humaine~' or ~'The Human Comedy~' collection of close to 100 novels and stories that provide an in-depth, realistic, and often cynical portrayal of French society in the first half of the 19th century
Magic Skin (or A Wild Donkey's Skin) (1830) is about a young impoverished aristocrat Raphael de Valentin, who, after futile attempts to become rich and powerful, sells his soul (and ultimately his life) for a magic donkey skin that has the power to fulfill the owner's wishes. With Raphael's every wish, the skin shrinks taking years from Raphael's life. Having sold his soul, Raphael loses the right for true happiness, and this betrayal of himself ultimately leads him to his demise.
Eugenie Grandet (1833), Felix Grandet, a rich miser, denies his wife and only daughter, Eugenie, even simple indulgences. He is obsessed with enlarging his fortune to the neglect of everything human around him, including his daughter's feelings for her cousin, Charles. After her father's death, Eugenie inherits millions, but the money does not bring her happiness. Betrayed by Charles, she enters into a marriage of convenience with the local bourgeois and, soon widowed, leads a charitable but boring life.
Father Goriot (or Old Goriot) (1835) is a tragic story of an old man, a small business owner, who gives away his painfully earned fortune to his two daughters as they pass into Parisian high society. Married to aristocrats, the daughters treat their father with neglect, further driving him into extreme poverty and a lonely existence.
Alexander Dumas (1802-1870)
- The Three Muscateers
- The Counte of Monte Cristo
- The Man in the Iron Mask
- The Last Cavalier
- Historical fiction novels
- Romantic style
- writing about crime and scandals such as
Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
He wrote The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables during the Romantic movement in France. Hugo is so well regarded in France that he was featured on the French coin (the franc) and was buried in the Pantheon. During his lifetime, he published over a dozen novels and even more pieces of work were published after his death in 1885. Politics, social unrest, and justice are recurring themes in his novels.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame was published in 1831. The novel follows the lives of Esmeralda, a gypsy, and Quasimodo, a hunchback who saves the woman from imprisonment by taking her inside the Notre Dame Cathedral where she is given sanctuary. Eventually, Esmeralda is rescued by Frollo and Gringoire, but Frollo betrays her and turns her into the police. She is hung from the gallows. Quasimodo remains with her corpse and dies of starvation.
Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880)
Gustave Flaubert was at the height of his writing career during the mid-19th century. As a novelist, he excelled in literary realism and is considered one of the most powerful realist novel writers in the history of France. Madame Bovary was his first novel and it garnered him a great deal of attention. Scholars purport that Flaubert created characters that were as real as is possible; his words were effectively exact and his characterizations were incredibly life-like.
Madame Bovary is a masterpiece in its own right and serves as the perfect example of literary realism. As Flaubert's first novel, it was published in 1856. The plot is about Emma Bovary, a young wife who engages in affairs and lives beyond her means as a way to ignore her boring life.
When the novel first came out as a series in La Revue de Paris, Flaubert was sued by the authorities because of its promiscuous nature. Ironically, the lawsuit brought the book so much attention that it become a bestseller after it was combined into a single volume.
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
"Father of Science Fiction"
-He read a lot on the topic of Science and took
notes. Notes would generate ideas for novels.
-invented science fiction
- First play - Les Paille Rompu
- The Mutineers
- 5 Weeks in a Balloon
- The Journey to the Center of the Earth
- From the Earth to the Moon
- Around The World In 80 Days
- used transport that was available during time
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea
made accurate predictions
- undersea farming
- harnessing ocean to produce electricity
- killing off certain species
- a voyage at sea
- good vs evil
- struggle with nature
- technical details
- using real science in stories to make stories more
- influenced by Edgar Allen Poe
- distinct autobiographical characteristics
Émile Zola (April 2, 1840)
He liked to write about the poor, lowliest parts of French society. He became the leading naturalist writer of his time, and was particularly famous for writing explicit and grotesque scenes. He wrote about menstruation, orgasms and other taboo bodily functions. He scandalized many readers, but his novels were so popular he became a wealthy man.
- He published his first novel, La Confession de Claude in 1865. The novel was seedy and controversial, and earned him a reputation with the public, and the police.
- Les Rougon Macquart: massive 20 novel series The first book of the series was published in 1870, and he continued to produce almost one novel every year until finishing them in 1893. It followed a family, with each novel focusing on a different member of the family. Zola also called the series the 'Natural and Social History of a Family under the Second Empire' of Napoleon III.
In the series, Zola wrote using the style known as Naturalism. Naturalism is a style of writing in which the author observes the world like a scientist or reporter, and simply delivers the facts.
- Fruitfulness Labor Truth, and the unfinished Justice: Near the end of his life, Zola intended to write four 'gospels' to explain his own philosophical principles.
- Famously titled J'accuse, Zola denounced the high-ranking officers, and the French War Office, of lying and wrongfully framing Dreyfus. Zola had long been convinced of Dreyfus's innocence, and openly proclaimed, 'By the name I have for myself, by my works... I swear that Dreyfus is innocent. May it all crumble, may my works perish if Dreyfus is not innocent!'. As the most famous writer in France, 'J'accuse' shook the nation and the world.
Zola's writing style was a success, and he quickly became the most popular writer in France. He married Alexandrine Zola, but also carried on a fourteen-year affair with one of his housemaids, Jeanne Rozerot, who had Zola's only children, Denise and Jacques.
- one of the most prominent French novelists of the late 19th century
- noted for his theories of naturalism as expressed in 'Les Rougon-Macquart.'
- In 1865 he published his controversial first novel, La Confession de Claude.
In the following years he continued his journalism career in while publishing two novels. In 1868, he decided to write a large-scale series of novels, Les Rougon-Macquart. As the founder of the naturalist movement, Zola also published several treatises to explain his theories on art.
- Zola died suddenly on September 28, 1902. His chimney flue was blocked, and he asphyxiated on coal gas. The death was ruled an accident, but many believed that he had been sabotaged by anti-Dreyfussards who purposely blocked the flue.
Auguste Rodin (19th Century)
Rodin's sculptures are noted for both their realism and sense of emotion. They are also noted for a sense of movement and unconventional staging, creating the sense that Rodin managed to somehow sketch a scene in bronze.
Burghers of Calais, completed in 1889. It depicts a scene from French history. In 1347, King Edward III laid siege to the town of Calais but offered to spare the townspeople if six of the city's leaders would offer themselves to be executed. Six men volunteered and left to sacrifice themselves to save their town, only to be saved at the last minute by the Queen of England. This sculpture depicts the men as they are leaving Calais, assuming that their lives are about to end.
Who laid out much of Paris?
City planner Baron Haussmann laid out much of modern Paris in 19th century, by order of Napoleon III. Influenced city planning all over the world.
Jean Paul Sartre (1905-1980)
famous 20th-century existentialist who authored many works, including plays, novels, screenplays, stories and philosophic essays. Two of his most famous philosophical works are 'Existentialism and Humanism' and 'Being and Nothingness.' Existentialism is a philosophy that recognizes a person as free to decide the course of his or her own life and actions. In other words, I'm in charge of me, and you're in charge of you!
According to Sartre's existential philosophy, there are two types of reality. There is the reality of existence in itself, and the reality of existence for itself. Admittedly, this stuff gets rather tricky, so hold on!
If something exists in itself, it simply is because it is. Rather than living consciously for itself, it is an object of consciousness.
On the contrary, if something exists for itself it has consciousness and choice. It has a desire for being. It is not bound to some predetermined path of what it should be.
According to Sartre and his existential cronies, absolute freedom to choose is what makes us human.
Sartre takes the position that we all have traded in life for what he coined bad faith. To Sartre, bad faith is the belief that things have to be a certain way. In short, we are victims to circumstance rather than victors with consciousness. Sartre argues that we have done this due to anguish. Anguish is caused by the reality that we are free to choose.
Sartre argued that anguish can ultimately propel us to live freely. To him, the anguish of knowing we are mortal should push us to grab every opportunity we can. Since life is short, we should live it to the fullest!
Simon de Beauvoir (1908-1986)
France's leading lady, Simone de Beauvoir is one of literature's most famous: a feminist, a philosopher, and a political activist. De Beauvoir's writing career took place during the mid-20th century. Although she is better known for her philosophical writings, her novel She Came to Stay was a major contribution to French and feminist literature.
She Came to Stay was published in 1943 and is a novel about a couple who engages in a threesome with a younger female friend. The adventure puts a lot of pressure on Xaviere, the man in the relationship. The book's main themes are constraint and freedom within a relationship.
A songbook where different types of songs are recorded.
A chansonnier (female: chansonnière) was a poet songwriter, solitary singer, who sang his or her own songs with a guitar in Quebec, Canada, during the 1960s and 1970s. Compared to the popular singer, the chansonnier needs no artifice to sing his/her soul poetry. They performed in «Les Boites à Chansons» which were flourishing in those years. The themes of their songs varied but included nature, love, simplicity, and a social interest to improve their world. The chansonnier made way for social and political awareness during the Quiet Revolution, (La Révolution Tranquille) that led to the affirmation of Quebecers' National identity.
A system of faith to which many of the French philosophers and other Enlightenment thinkers subscribed. Deism is the belief that God exists, but chooses to let the universe proceed according to natural law. Deists deny supernatural occurrences and insist that God is knowable through reason and nature, not divine revelation. Deism is often conceptualized by a comparison with a clock and a clockmaker. In the deist view, God is the great 'clockmaker' who created the world (like a clock) and then allows it to 'run' according to natural operation (without supernatural intervention). Not all, but some of America's Founding Fathers were deists, most notably, Thomas Jefferson.
French History Timeline
6000 BC - France starts off as a bunch of scattered farmers.
1000 BC - Celts arrived from the East, bring DRUIDS, WARRIORS and CRAFTSMAN. People bonded together to form a country called GAUL and they spoke CELTIC.
51 BCE - GAUL gets conquered by CEASAR. GALLO-ROMAN CIVILIZATION BEGINS. Romans erect buildings and aqueducts, such as the still standing PONT DU GARE AQUEDUCT in Nimes.
500 AD - GAUL gets over taken by KING CLOVIS and THE FRANKS (a Germanic civilization). For the French, KING CLOVIS IS CONSIDERED FOUNDER OF FRANCE and is FAMOUS FOR CONVERTING FROM PAGANISM to CATHOLICISM.
800 AD Charlemagne, leader of France, He was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope. He rebuilds Holy Roman Empire and spreads Catholicism. In general, Charlemagne's reign was a period of internal calm and prosperity because of his military and political ability. His program of cultural revival and changes to the Church, he succeeded in improving the level of civilization in the West.
1000 AD - BEGIN SPEAKING FRENCH
11th Century: Troubadours were poet-musicians who first appeared in the late 11th century in Occitania.
1066 AD - William the Conqueror invades England in the Battle of Hastings. FRENCH BECOMES OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (for 400 years). MANY FRENCH WORDS BECOME PART OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
1147 AD - ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE RULES MUCH OF FRANCE AND ALL OF ENGLAND. ELEANOR PROMOTED ARTS, MUSIC AND POETS in her courts with royal money. Much of the style of medieval music comes from her engagement of troubadours.
MIDDLE AGES - FRANCE GREW AND PROSPERED, ERECTED MANY CATHEDRALS including NOTRE DAME,
1337 to 1453:
Feudalism, a system of government in which land owners held power over their serfs or workers, dominated France before the Hundred Years War. Common people depended on and gave their allegiance to their feudal lord rather than their king. This all changed when military tactics gave the commoners the ability to fight and even get paid for doing so.
The Hundred Years' War was a war between England and France. England and France fought over who would be the king of France.
William the Conqueror, who became king of England in 1066. He united England with Normandy in France, and he ruled over both areas.
1346, the Battle of Crecy occurred near Normandy. Edward had come to France with thousands of soldiers, and the French pursued them. Edward stopped near Normandy, in Crecy, to fight against the French. The French attacked several times, but they were defeated by England - mostly because of English longbowmen. There was an English victory.
In 1356, the Battle of Poitiers erupted after Edward's son raided France. The English soldiers tricked the French into thinking that they were retreating. The French soldiers charged and were met with masses of falling arrows from the longbowmen. King John (now king of France) was defeated and captured. King John died in captivity, and his son Charles V took over.
In 1415, at the Battle of Agincourt, the battlefield was a strip of land that was situated between two wooded areas. Longbow archers were again used against the French. Because the archers only wore light armor, they were eventually ordered to attack the French with swords or axes. The French were defeated and lost thousands of soldiers.
France experienced their first major victory in 1428 and 1429 at the Siege of Orleans. The victory was aided by Joan of Arc, who led French troops against the English. Joan was only a teenager when she joined the fight. She claimed to see visions of angels and saints that spoke to her. They instructed her to aid the French king in his war. She led French troops against the English in Orleans in 1429. She brought with her supplies needed by the French and inspired them to fight. With Joan's encouragement, the French defeated the English on May 8.
The final battle of the Hundred Years' War was in 1453, at the Battle of Castillon. At this battle, England attacked a French force in Castillon. The English faced French soldiers that were using guns against them. English survivors retreated and finally returned home.
As the war progressed, the French monarchy gained power. For example, in 1438 King Charles VII unveiled the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges. This move strengthened the monarchy by giving them charge over the French church.
After Charles VII, Louis XI, known as the 'Universal Spider,' took the throne. He confiscated noble lands and executed those who challenged him. Louis XI promoted the growth of trade and commerce, helping the French economy to flourish. Because of his hunger for power, France was also well on its way to royal absolutism, the system of government in which the monarch has absolute authority over those governed and is not bound by law or constitution.
Furthermore, centralized taxation had been sporadic before the war. After the war, it became regular and established. This gave the monarchs funds to continue their standing armies, increasing both their royal power and their royal revenue.
1598 - EDICTES OF NANTES HENRY IV GRANTS FREEDOM OF WORSHIP TO ALL PEOPLE SETTLING CONFLICTS B/W PROTESTANTS AND CATHOLICS. FOLLOWING THE VERY VIOLENT "WARS OF RELIGION" + "CRUSADES", KING PROMOTES PEACE AND A PROSPEROUS PEOPLE OVER RELIGION STRIFE. PISSES OFF POPE.
1643 - 1715 - King Louis XIV became king at 4 and half. Known as the Sun King. As a result there was a lot of rebellion. The instability that he experienced as a child shaped his belief in a strong central government and concentrating political power in the monarchy. As soon as he came of age he began to change the tax codes and laws to give the monarchy more power. Louis further altered legal codes over the course of a decade, a series of reforms now known as the Grand Ordinances. He was also a great patron of the arts. Many of the great 17th-century French painters and writers were at one time employed personally by Louis, including Le Brun and Molière. The Palace of Versailles, a sprawling 250-acre estate, was built at the height of his power.
Louis wasted few chances to grab territory. One such chance presented itself when a technicality in the Flemish laws of inheritance allowed Louis semi-legal justification to claim the Spanish Netherlands from Spain after the death of Philip IV in 1665. Louis again sent French troops into border territories, this time fighting the Dutch Republic and other nations in the 1670s. When the dust was settled, France had acquired the Dutch city of Maastricht and the Franche-Comté, a territory, which, like many of Louis' acquisitions, remains part of France today.
He had a 72 year reign.
1715 - 1775 - RULE OF LOUIS XV - UNMOTIVATED KING, NICKNAMED "WELL BELOVED" BUT HIS MILITARY FAILURES INCLUDING SEVEN YEARS WAR DEFEAT, FRANCE LOSSES ALL CANADIAN TERRITORIES TO BRITAIN PLUS EXPENSIVE LIFESTYLE CONTRIBUTED TO FRENCH REVOLUTION. MEANWHILE IN *1748 MONTESQUIEU PUBLISHES "THE SPIRIT OF LAWS", DIDEROT PUBLISHES "ENCLYCLOPEDIE", 1759 VOLTAIRE PUBLISHED "CANDIDE"
1770 - Marie Antoinette and Louis Augustus (son of Louis the XV) are married. She ascended to the throne in 1774. She was beheaded in 1793. She was the last queen of France.
1754 - 1793 RULE OF LOUIS XVI, MARRIES DAUGHTER OF AUSTRIAN ROYALTY MARIE ANTOINETTE TO CONSOLIDATE FRANCE & AUSTRIA EFFORT TO GAIN FUNDS CONTINUES TO DEPLETE RESOURCES BY HELPING AMERICAN COLONIES W/ INDEPENDENCE. DESPERATELY CALLS UPON FRENCH ESTATES GENERAL TO RAISE TAXES, THEY HADN'T EVEN MET SINCE 1614. IN EFFORT TO MAINTAIN CONTROL, LOUIS DIDN'T WANT MEMBERS TO ALL MEET AT ONCE. ESTATES GENERAL/GENERAL ASSEMBLY/ 3 ESTATES - GETS PISSED, GROWING SENSE OF REVOLT SPREAD TO PEOPLE. STORMS BASTILLE. UNREST CONTINUES. 3 ESTATES DECLARES THEMSELVES IN CHARGE. AFTER AN ATTEMPT TO FLEE VERSAILLES IN 1791, ESTATES GENERAL/GENERAL ASSEMBLY/ 3 ESTATES FORCE KING TO SIGN CONSTITUTION. EXECUTED AT GUILLOTINE AND MONARCHY IS ABOLISHED.
1793 - Robespierre's Reign of Terror - Revolutionary government takes deadly measures against anyone suspected of being enemies of the revolution (Nobles, priests, hoarders.)
Eventually, he was taken off of the Committee of Public Safety and charged with crimes against the French Republic. In just two days, he was found guilty and executed using the guillotine; his death ended of the Reign of Terror. By the end of the Reign of Terror, about 16,000 people had died at the guillotine.
1789 - (Revolution) Middle Class revolts as a result of Louis Philippe XVI who they feel does not represent them. He is ousted from power.
Louis Blanc established national workshops to provide job opportunities. Elected officials stopped national workshops and people revolted (June Days - bloody.) This resulted in the election of Napoleon Bonaparte III - He stripped French of political rights and declared himself emperor.
Sans Culottes - Peasants and urban workers. Despised the upper classes. They were violent and unpredictable and willing to work with bourgeois leaders, to a point. FOLLOWING OVER THROW OF LOUIS XVI, THE SANS CULOTTES WERE THE WORKING CLASS REVOLUTIONARIES FIGHTING ANYONE WHO MIGHT THREATEN THE REVOLUTION - LEAD BY ROBESPIERRE
1804 - Napoleon crowns himself emperor after he leads France to victory against Europe's strongest nations
1815 - Eventually, an alliance of Great Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia (an area that is today Germany) came together to defeat him. The French Revolution came to an end when Napoleon lost the Battle of Waterloo. The other European powers then restored a new French king.
1914 - FRANCE BATTLES GERMANY IN WWI
1919 - TREATY OF VERSAILLES signed at Versailles end WWI
1940 - France joined Great Britain in declaring war on Germany in 1940 only months after Germany invaded Poland to begin WWII. The same year, Germany invaded France. By 1942, Germany had full control of all of France.
The fighting that liberated France, beginning with the D-Day invasion of the coast of Normandy on June 6, 1944, was some of the fiercest of the war. As Allied forces pushed the German lines back across France, the French countryside was devastated. France emerged from WWII technically victorious alongside its American and British allies, but the German occupation and intense fighting of the war left French society, its economy and infrastructure utterly ruined.
1944 - FRANCE IS FREED FROM GERMAN OCCUPATION, CHARLES de GAULLE CREATES PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT - France enters a bleak period in which it loses many colonies, POST WAR BABY BOOM
1945 - Need to rebuild France after years of war.
1946-1954 - French Indochine War results in France losing control of colonies in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, beginning "Nombrilisime" - naval gazing
following WWII, France's position as a global power became increasingly tenuous. At the same time cultural changes resulting from globalization raised concerns about France's national identity. An introspective focus on France's cultural identity became known "nombrilisme"
France was a founding member of the six-state European Coal and Steel Community in 1951.
The ECSC facilitated the movement of the key industrial components of coal and steel throughout Western Europe and removed trading restrictions between the participating countries. The success of this agreement fostered the later creation of the European Economic Community, which in turn became today's European Union. France was also a founding member of both the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
The Algerian War was so controversial that it led to a political crisis in France. Facing the possibility of civil war breaking out over the Algeria situation, the French Parliament insisted Charles de Gaulle return as president of France. He was elected president by France's Parliament in December 1958, and parliament also granted de Gaulle the power to radically alter the French Constitution as he saw fit.
1962- FRANCE GIVES UP CONTROL OF ALGERIA
1981 - Socialist candidate FRANCOIS MITTERAND is elected president. FIRST SOCIALIST.
2003 - US FRANCE RELATIONS are strained when France does not support US and Britain's use of military force in Iraq
2017 - FRANCOISE HOLLAND elected president. 1st socialist president in 17 years.
Where does name of Paris originate?
Named after Parisii, Celtic tribe who lived on site
"Ile de France"
INDIVIDUALISM AND THE FRENCH WORLD VIEW
One of the cornerstones of the Enlightenment, a philosophy stressing the recognition of every person as a valuable individual with inalienable, inborn rights.